Day of the Dead style Skull with Pacific Northwest design elements, including music, sea life, and local Seattle based iconography

Develop: Finish line

10/20/2017 - 16:20

I thought my skill set was going to be better than where I am currently. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed, but also at the same time, I’ve been able to accomplish everything that I have put my mind to.

It has just taken twice and long and three times as much effort. If time is kind to me, I shall gain the abilities to say all of the statements I would like to make.

If I have one regret, it is that I didn’t start my journey sooner. Earlier in my life, I was often discouraged from self-expression and creating art.

Many times, it is because I was made to believe that there some sort of “magic” or necessary talent involved that I did not possess. I just want to let you know that art is and can be anything you want.

Art is for EVERYONE.

The archaic definition of the word “art” is “to be, or being”. Example: Thou art a masterpiece. By design in our existence, each one of us is the embodiment of art.

According to Merriam-Webster in its current iteration, the word “art” is defined as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects”.

The terms “conscious use, and aesthetics” connotate choice and decision. To me, this is the crux of the creative process.

Within each one of us lies a set of unique experiences, skills, and perspectives. To create with purpose is to take your learned skills and apply them with intention.

Artisan, craftsman and the dedicated professional may differ in field and skill but are aligned their approach with careful consideration for design and aesthetic.

For me, love is the critical factor missing from both definitions.

Love is magic, and it is alive inside of you.

How do you love art, or anything intangible? through time and intention. It is the part of your life where you are willing to fully commit both to that your love is alive.

Your unique set of skills, perspectives, experience, and ability to love means that you can create art that no one else could possibly create. True one of a kind artwork that contains a value that I find hard to quantify.

Technique comes from practice and vision comes from purpose.

If you know yourself then know your worth, then you know your specific voice is worth sharing. For me, there has always a small voice telling me I had things to say, a truth I tried to long ignore.

I’ve learned to trust and rely on that voice through the practice of self-reliance and self-acceptance self-expression

As much as this journey has been learning about an applied skill, it has also been about learning to love myself fully. To become acquainted with even darkest aspects; acknowledge and embrace them.

For me, this meant hearing and learning hard personal truths, embracing flaws, working through failures publicly, and not reacting to unfair criticism. It was all part of it sometimes it seemed like the only part of it, and it all SUCKED.

What doesn’t suck is doing what I love every single day.

Learning to build something piece by piece has taught me to channel pain in ways that it will crystallize into a truth that honors that the quiet voice that got me started in the first place.

If the joy is in the doing, no one can hold your happiness and take it away. It is the time that you spend with your passion that makes it important.

Honor your work and you honor your intentions.

People tried to make me feel stupid for pursuing my passion at first because my ability was not where it is currently. It’s still nowhere near where I need it to be to create the things I know I can build in my dreams.

But I know that art is a lifelong process and I am a student of the game. If you are going to take the thing you love most in the world and use it to pay bills, you learn very quickly that it is a game.

While my abilities have improved and varied, my intentions and approach to photography have not changed. Intentions are powerful things.

Just so we are clear, I came to fuck this photo game up.

When I honor myself and trust my choices I become empowered. With that power each time a new and better series of circumstances are presented to me. It’s is a slow gradual incline fostered by hard work and dedication.

People will stand in your way, sometimes accidentally and sometimes intentionally. Be kind to those that are well-intentioned, but a hater is a real thing.

In your journey, you’ll be able to recognize a hater because they want to act like they are meeting you at your destination.

In my experience, they are always someone that has accepted existing in their current set of circumstances permanently. This is because they cannot see a future, plan or vision for themselves

With that said, listen to the critics.

Compliments are nice and they can feel good. But if someone offers you critique and it is fair and valid, they have opened your eyes and mind to the idea of new possibilities.

True friendship & true loyalty comes from the people in your life who will be honest with you, let you know when you’re veering off course and behaving in ways that are foreign to them.

(Fun Fact: It only takes 6 weeks to create a habit, cultivate a new skill or gain a new perspective; doesn’t take long to nullify even the most valid of criticisms.)

Don’t forget to listen to yourself

No one was clamoring for my art; I didn’t pursue because of listening to other people because if I had, I still wouldn’t be here. When I live, I decide. When you make deliberate and conscious choices you empower yourself.

You not only accept change, you embrace change, and you become an agent of change. With these changes come challenges; people come and go, opportunities will dry up, doors will be slammed in your face.

Challenges can either become a discouragement or a reward, in my experience, your outlook will determine your outcome. When you embrace challenge head on you embrace the opportunity and the desire for change.

In my experience, external difficulties are most often presented because there is an internal change that needs to occur.

If you can recognize the challenge and within it the need for change, you are prepared to disrupt the situation with a solution allows you to “level up” because once you have properly addressed an obstacle, it is seldom bothersome again.

Take away the love, the intentions, challenges, criticism and the skill you are left with time.

Time will also happen regardless if honor yourself and apply your intentions or not. Procrastinate long enough with anything and choices will be made for you. I used to live a passive and reactionary live, responding to the choices and intentions of others.

To me, this is the difference between living and existing.

“It’s the part of the show where it all fades away

When the lights go to black and the band leaves the stage

And you wanted an encore but there’s no encore today

Cause the moment is now, can’t get it back from the grave”

“10, 000 Hours” – Macklemore

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